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  • 05/31/2022 8:55 AM | Anonymous

    To be transparent, the Executive Committee has discussed whether to release a statement based on current events - and if so, how to acknowledge the breadth of what is happening and assure folks that we see the pain they may be going through, while not retraumatizing people in the process. We are trying our best with this message to support our full community.   

    If you would like to know more about why we feel moved to reach out to our members now and you feel in a safe space to read about upsetting events, please read below our signatures.

    What is bringing us hope

    In parallel with tragedies in our world, there is ongoing resistance and efforts to achieve the full inclusion of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ people. Presently, we find inspiration and hope with the following people/efforts, among many more:

    • The leadership of students and other young people in organizing for their own safety

    • The Black Lives Matter movement

    • The ¡Milwaukee Evaluation! network, which will be holding their 5th annual conference on social justice and evaluation this fall

    • The May 13 Groupan invitation and a movement spearheaded by Dr. Vidhya Shanker to “repair, reverse, redress, and regenerate from the pattern of epistemic violence initiated by The May 12 Group’s racialized circulation of capital within evaluation’s political economy and convene an ecosystem structured instead around collectivism and solidarity, which nurtures epistemic healing and wholeness.”

    • Deb Haaland, the first Indigenous Secretary of the Interior, under whose leadership a recent report on boarding schools was released

    • Frank Waln, a Lakota rapper and speaker who shared his story during a plenary session of the American Evaluation Association 2021 conference

    What we are doing

    As a network of people working in and around evaluation, we know we must acknowledge these contexts to work towards full inclusion of our members with these identities. We ultimately strive to achieve equitable and just outcomes for the people and communities with whom we work. Therefore, it is necessary for us to mark these moments, extend our wishes for healing, and commit to continued and expanded action.

    1. For our members and friends targeted or directly affected by recent assaults and impending political changes, GBEN commits to standing with you in healing and justice. Please reach out to if you would like support during this time, or if you have ideas for how GBEN can better support our community. Our committees are actively discussing ways to create more inclusive and supportive community-building throughout GBEN, and we welcome your ideas. We also welcome your feedback on this messaging.

    2. For the allies among us, we wish you the courage and humility to show up for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ people in the ways that will be of greatest service. Here are some resources and ways to get involved: 

      1. Service Never Sleeps Allyship trainings

      2. Antiracism daily newsletter

      3. Find your legislators and contact them to take action

    3. The GBEN Executive Committee is currently finalizing our Strategic Plan for the next three years. Our strategic goals include growing a more diverse membership, offering more programming that contributes to a more just and equitable field, increasing community-building and inclusion particularly for historically excluded folks, and embedding more DEI-focus principles and practices in GBEN structures and Committee work. Please look for more details soon.


    The Greater Boston Evaluation Network Executive Committee

    Min Ma
    Matan BenYishay
    Elizabeth Brown
    Trang Hickman
    Susan Putnins
    Noe Medina
    Bryan Hall
    Trish Dao-Tran
    Chantal Hoff
    Dana Benjamin-Allen
    Kelly Washburn

    Please stop here if you do not wish to read about current day assaults and tragedies

    What prompted us to send this message

    The Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Evaluation Network (GBEN) condemns the recent assaults on women, BIPOC, and school-children. We initially drafted this statement prior to the murder of school-children and teachers in Uvalde, TX on May 24. While some aspects of that tragic, unacceptable assault are different from some of the earlier assaults we mention below, we also view it as a perpetuation of toxic masculinity and privileging the comfort of (white) men over the rights to existence and bodily autonomy of women, BIPOC, and LTGBQ people.

    On May 14, an avowed white supremacist carried out an act of terror on the Black community of Buffalo, NY, explicitly choosing a gathering place for East Buffalo’s Black population. Earlier the same week, a shooter targeted a Korean salon in Dallas, TX, continuing an appalling trend of violence against Asian American people and women in particular. These physical assaults follow the news of the Supreme Court appearing to prepare to overturn Roe v. Wade and the national rights of bodily autonomy for women and people who can get pregnant. This assault is also overlaid on the history of systemic racism in this country, which ensures that BIPOC and low-income people will be the worst affected. In addition, last week saw the long-overdue release of a report by the Department of the Interior about the racism, colonialism, and violence carried out by over 400 forced boarding schools for Indigenous children, which led to over 500 deaths. Lastly, all of this has taken place against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to demonize and exclude LGBTQ people, especially transgender children.

    These assaults are part of a past and present of white supremacist and misogynist violence and attempted control. In his draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the right to bodily autonomy is “not deeply rooted” in our nation’s traditions. We find this sentiment abhorrent; however, these recent events have also demonstrated yet again that racism, colonialism, and patriarchy are far too deeply rooted in this nation’s traditions.

    Our message above is intended to support our community while we all grapple with these unfolding events. We hope that including the details here may help some people feel seen in their pain, and help others learn more about the context their colleagues may be facing. 

  • 07/28/2021 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    The Membership Committee is excited to share a new flyer that details some basic information about GBEN and the perks that come with a GBEN membership.  Click the image below to access a PDF version of the flyer. Please feel free share widely with your professional networks, evaluation students or classmates, and other colleagues who are interested in evaluation.

  • 04/30/2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Our members are AWESOME!  Member Spotlight is a quarterly blog and member newsletter feature created to make space to learn about each other and the breadth of talent existing in the Greater Boston Area. 

    This month's Member Spotlight is Cassandra Tavaras.

    Name:  Cassandra Tavaras

    Social Media Handle:

    Occupation & Field of Work:  Project Manager at MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, focusing on youth development program evaluation.

    How did you get started?  I had always been interested in research and evaluation while in graduate school and held positions as a research assistant prior to becoming a Massachusetts Promise Fellow at CCHI. I was fortunate enough to obtain a position on the evaluation team at CCHI after my year of service and have been doing this work for over five years.

    Why do you continue to work in evaluation?  I enjoy the strategy and problem solving that comes with being an evaluator, and evaluation allows me to tap into my curious/analytic side. I also really enjoy having the opportunity to work with different stakeholders and community partners.

    What do you like about what you do?  Finding ways to help my colleagues/community partners understand and use the data/results from evaluations. It's always rewarding to be a part of conversations where it is clear that people have learned something new from the data and find ways to take action/make positive changes.

    What aspect of your work are you most proud of?  Leading qualitative data collection and analysis for the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment.  I really love working with qualitative data so having the chance to lead this piece of the work was a great learning opportunity.

    Of all your accomplishments outside of work of which are you most proud?  I teach Zumba part-time and I love it! I have had the opportunity to teach at events and have been hired to teach private classes and create choreography for a wedding! It's a lot of fun and something I am very passionate about. I love that I get to share it with so many different people.

    What are you currently reading, listening to and/or binge-watching?  "Just As I Am: A Memoir" by Cicely Tyson

    Interested in being spotlit? E-mail We look forward to celebrating your efforts. 

  • 03/30/2021 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    On March 18th, Kimberly A. Truong, Ph.D. (she/her/hers/they/them/theirs) from XEM Consulting Services presented an overview of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to 33 GBEN members. Kim briefly discussed the history of CRT, which began in the 1970s, and touched upon many of the people who have contributed to CRT throughout the years. Along with the history of CRT, Kim wove in what is happening currently in the country using a CRT lens. One point mentioned during the presentation was understanding the potential intersectionality of issues or topics and it isn’t “either/or”. Before breaking into small groups, two case studies were presented to begin discussions on how us as evaluators could use CRT within our work. The three small groups, led by GBEN DEI committee members Ben Faust, Patience Misner, and Susan Putnins, discussed three of the CRT tenets (Permanence of Racism, Experiential Knowledge, and Committed to Social Justice) and how it applies to evaluation and how we can use CRT to inform our own work. 

    A non-exhaustive list of people and readings/publications for more learning:


    • W. E. B. Du Bois

    • Paulo Freire 

    • Kimberlé Crenshaw

    • Daniel Solórzano

    • Zeus Leonardo 

    • Derrick Bell

    • For those in the education field: Dr. Dena Simmons and her work with LiberatED shares resources

    • bell hooks 


  • 03/27/2021 12:27 PM | Danelle Marable

    Membership Committee:

    Are you an advocate for evaluation? Do you live in the Greater Boston area? Are you a strategic thinker who wants to find more ways to get involved with the work of GBEN? Consider joining the GBEN Executive Committee! We are currently looking to fill the role of Membership Co-Chair(s). As Membership Co-Chair you will lead the charge for recruitment and retention of GBEN members and work alongside the Executive Committee and Board to advance the work of GBEN. This is an excellent leadership opportunity and avenue to continue to build and elevate the membership experience. Please email Elizabeth Brown at or Danelle Marable at by Friday April 9th.

    Programming Committee:
    Do you have ideas on roundtables and presentations that will benefit GBEN members? Looking for ways to get more involved in GBEN? Then nominate yourself for the Programming Co-chair position! You'll work with the current Programming Co-chair, Kelly Washburn, and the 4 committee members to research and plan different events to provide professional opportunities to GBEN members. As Co-chair, you'll also be part of the Executive Committee. For more information on the responsibilities and time commitment, check out the Co-chair description located HERE. If interested, please email Elizabeth Brown at or Kelly Washburn at by Friday April 9th.

  • 01/29/2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Our members are AWESOME!  Member Spotlight is a new, quarterly blog and member newsletter feature created to make space to learn about each other and the breadth of talent existing in the Greater Boston Area. 

    This month's Member Spotlight is Eric Williamson.

    NameEric Williamson  

    Social Media Handle:

    How do you engage with GBEN? I am on the Programming and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committees

    Occupation & Field of WorkEducational Evaluation and Research Ph.D. Candidate at Boston College

    How did you get started?  Discovering evaluation was a happy mistake for me - I enrolled in BC's Educational Evaluation and Research program in 2016 because as a classroom teacher, I had used educational research to inform my teaching, and I wanted to learn how to contribute to this body of research. As part of the curriculum, I took two courses on evaluation, and the rest is history! I completed the M.Ed. program in 2018 and continued on in the Ph.D. track, becoming a candidate in Fall of 2020.

    Why do you continue to work in evaluation? My strongest professional motivation is helping to ensure that all children in America have equal access to a safe, successful, and fulfilling life. I have found evaluation to be one of the best levers we have to work toward this goal, helping programs dedicated to equity deliver on their promises. 

    What do you like about what you do? As a people person, I very much enjoy the balance between working with program stakeholders, and (as someone who would like to think of themselves as a critical thinker--jury's still out on that one!) brainstorming ways to drive programs towards more equitable outcomes.

    Of what aspect of your work to date are you most proud? Just this past November, the first evaluation that I assisted on was completed, and I got to experience the evaluation process from design to reporting. A small feat, but one that I am proud of!

    Of all your accomplishments outside of work of which are you most proud?   As a nerd of all things science-fiction, I'm proud that I had a short story published in a small science-fiction magazine back in 2015. I also had the opportunity back in 2019 to visit the recipient of bone marrow I had donated a few years prior, an act that is probably the thing I am most proud of in my life so far. 

    What are you currently reading, listening to and/or binge-watching? Currently listening to the audiobook of Volume One of President Obama's memoir, A Promised Land. Currently reading China Mieville's The City & The City, and Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future. Binge-watching the Office, as always!

    Interested in being spotlit? E-mail We look forward to celebrating your efforts. 

  • 10/19/2020 3:27 PM | Anonymous

    Hi! I’m Kelly Washburn, Project Manager of Evaluation and Strategic Support at MGH’s Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) and the GBEN Programming Chair. This blog post is based on my presentation I did for GBEN’s September roundtable. At CCHI, I act as an internal evaluator focusing on four community coalitions supported by MGH. When I started at CCHI over 4 years ago, I was inspired to create infographic/visual reports to highlight the coalitions’ work after reviewing the reports they are required to submit to the Attorney General and grant funders. Those required reports typically come with a template and for the coalitions, never highlight all the different areas of work they do each year. 

    These infographic reports are meant to complement the other reporting they have to do. As I started to move from text-heavy reports to visuals, the following tips helped me.

    • State the purpose: The purpose of these coalitions’ infographics was to highlight all their work during the fiscal year in an easy to understand format.

    • Know the intended audience: My audience was coalition staff and current and potential members. It’s important to know that this format may not be appropriate for all audiences. For example, I would not create an infographic with senior leadership at the hospital as the intent will be different for them. 

    • Know how much knowledge and buy-in is currently there with program staff: I developed relationships with the program staff through team meetings and other evaluation activities and those conversations around reporting really showed their need in creating something more visual.  

    • Know what data will be included and how to collect it: As an internal evaluator, I was able to devote time to attending their coalition meetings and internal team meetings, so I was able to continuously collect data on the work they were doing. I also created a basic Word document that had all their process outcomes and asked staff to fill in the gaps. That method has worked well for them, however, I’m starting to rethink the tracking process as I update their evaluation plans.

    • Consider the budget and time constraints: It might not be possible to get a paid subscription to programs such as Piktochart or Canva, but there is a lot that can be done with their free subscriptions or even PowerPoint. I’ve used both Piktochart and PowerPoint to create visuals. I lean towards PowerPoint when I need to include more charts and tables. 

    The coalitions have really appreciated the infographics and love sharing them with their audiences, along with easily pulling the data points for other reports. To see some examples of what my colleagues and I have created, check out the Charlestown Coalition’s Data Report page on their website. 

    For myself, I am thinking about how to change or add to this foundation including, showing trend data (when applicable) and ensuring the accessibility of the reports. For resources discussed at the presentation by myself and other GBEN members, go to the presentation for the resources slide

  • 09/09/2020 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    GBEN elections are coming up and we are reaching out with a call for nominations for the Vice-President position. The next 3-year term for Vice-President starts January 1, 2021. This is a great leadership opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the value of GBEN and help to shape its future! You may nominate yourself or a committed GBEN colleague. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

    Position Descriptions

    GBEN is governed by an Executive Committee, which serves as the board of directors, and consists of a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, a Clerk, and chairs from each of the committees. The President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Clerk are elected by the membership.Any GBEN members may serve on the GBEN Board.

    The Executive Committee meets monthly tooversee all GBEN activities and operations, including overseeing all subcommittees. The Committee is also responsible for setting dues and approving a budget for each year. The Executive Committee oversees elections, fills vacancies, holds special elections, and removes Committee members as outlined in GBEN’s by-laws.

    Position Description: (10-15 hours per month)

    • Oversee strategic planning for GBEN;

    • Oversee operations of GBEN to ensure that plans are executed and tasks are accomplished;

    • Assist the President in conducting the business of GBEN and preside in the President’s absence including if the President’s position becomes vacant; 

    • Preside over all Executive Committee meetings of GBEN;

    • Chair the Governance Committee; 

    • Assist in planning and organizing the Annual Meeting.

    Qualifications and Time Commitment

    • Membership with GBEN and AEA

    • Some leadership or management experience

    • Minimum of 5 years experience with evaluation-related work

    • Capacity to commit 10-15 hours per month

    • Some Board experience preferred

    • Strong organizational skills

    Submission Process

    Each nomination submission should include:

    • Name, Title, Affiliation, Email, Phone

    • Resume or CV

    • A brief statement answering the following questions:

      • Why are you interested in becoming Vice-President of GBEN?
      • What are your qualifications for Vice President?
      • What is your vision for GBEN?

    Submit COMPLETED nominations to GBEN via email ( by  Wednesday, October 7, 2020.


    If you have questions about nominations process, please contact Danelle Marable,

  • 08/31/2020 9:26 AM | Anonymous

    In June 2020, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee conducted a brief survey with GBEN members and friends in order to understand the demographics of evaluators affiliated with GBEN as well as their needs, usage, interest, and capacity pertaining to equitable evaluations.

    Methodology: A 13-item survey was administered to all current GBEN members and friends (n = 324) via Google Forms. Participants were given three weeks to complete the survey. Participants who completed the survey were entered into a raffle with a chance to win one of three $25 gift certificates, one of two GBEN tote bags, or a one-year GBEN membership. 

    Response: The survey was opened by 170 of the 324 people who were invited to participate. We received 51 responses, of which 45 were from GBEN due paying members. Specifically, among GBEN due paying members, 32% (45/140) completed the survey. Here is a summary of the main findings.

    • Demographics: Nearly 8 in 10 respondents identified as female, 14% as male, and 8% did not respond. No one identified as transgender and non-binary. The majority (81%) identified as heterosexual, 10% as gay/lesbian, 8% as bisexual, 4% as queer, 2% as fluid, and 16% did not respond.  Most identified as White (76%) followed by Black/African American (12%), LatinX (2%), Asian (2%), and 8% did not respond. 

    • Equity in GBEN: Respondents overwhelmingly responded “Never” (96%) feeling excluded at GBEN events due to your identity (ex: race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation). Approximately 4 in 10 respondents think that an equity-focused lens has been infused too little into the content of the roundtables, while 26% believe equity has been adequately infused.  

    • Equity Training: In the past three years, participants attended a variety of equity trainings. Attending in-person workshops or online webinars were among the more popular answers, 73% and 35%, respectively.  On average, respondents reported using three self-assessment methods when asked, How have you assessed your own cultural awareness or biases? with Reflection, Implicit Bias Test, and Workshops being the most selected.

    • Engaging community stakeholders and managing conflict on projects involving racism or oppression: Most respondents felt somewhat prepared (61%) to engage community stakeholders around equity. Only  8% reported feeling not at all prepared. Additionally, participants were asked, How prepared they were to respond to managing conflict when discussing racism, discrimination, and oppression?. The largest proportion of respondents indicated feeling Somewhat prepared (47%) and 10% responded Not at all prepared.

    • Review the PowerPoint Presentation to learn What respondents would like to see, learn, or contribute to DEI.

    Next Steps: The results were shared with an equity consultant in August 2020. The consultant will conduct additional assessments that will aid GBEN in developing a DEI focused 3-year strategic plan, which will be shared with GBEN members in early 2021.

  • 06/09/2020 9:32 PM | Anonymous

    GBEN is excited to launch a visioning and strategic planning process around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We seek a consultant to facilitate the process in partnership with GBEN's DEI Committee.

    For more details and application guidelines, see the Request for Proposals

    Questions should be submitted by 10 AM ET on Friday, June 19, 2020. Proposals are due by 5 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2020. 

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